Hit or Miss? Toyota in the firing line after massive global vehicle recall

Speedy solution

Toyota USA president Jim Lentz apologised to customers this week after the firm issued a recall for millions of cars worldwide to fix an accelerator problem. Toyota was initially criticised for creating confusion over which countries were affected. It first asked for cars in the US to be brought back, before widening the recall to Europe and China. Lentz said some dealers would stay open 24 hours a day to fix the faulty pedals.

HOW I SEE IT - Neil Bayley, Head of crisis, Porter Novelli

The first thing a car customer worries about is whether they are safe to drive. If they can't find a quick answer, their concern will heighten.

Car companies often operate manufacturing and distribution as separate entities. This may explain some of the initial confusion over the Toyota recall. It's difficult to send out one global press release in a situation like this.

In the UK, Toyota was quick to field a good spokesman. The YouTube video in the US was a good move in principle, but it's a bit over the top. I'd like to see a UK version to support the strong news blog stream on the Toyota GB site.

This will be painful, but customer loyalty will see Toyota through. With global supply chains, this kind of issue is becoming more common. Preparation and speed of response are critical, as is learning the lessons for next time.


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